Children with psoriasis may be at increased risk for overweight and obesity

November 19, 2012

CHICAGO - A study of children in nine countries found that psoriasis in children was associated with an increased risk for overweight and obesity, regardless of psoriasis severity, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Dermatology, a JAMA Network publication.

"Adults with psoriasis have an increased risk of obesity, myocardial infarction, stroke and diabetes mellitus," the authors write as background in the study. "Recent studies also suggest the association of psoriasis with obesity in children."

Amy S. Paller, M.D., with Northwestern University, Chicago, and colleagues examined the association between excess adiposity (body mass index [BMI] percentile) and central adiposity (waist circumference percentile and waist to height ratio) with pediatric psoriasis severity. The authors conducted a multicenter, cross-sectional study of 409 children with psoriasis and 205 control children from nine countries between June 19, 2009 and December 2, 2011.

Psoriasis was classified as mild (worst Physician's Global Assessment score ≤3 with body surface area ≤10 percent) or severe (worst Physician's Global Assessment score ≥3 with body surface area >10 percent).

Excess adiposity (BMI ≥85th percentile) occurred in 37.9 percent of children with psoriasis (n=155) vs. 20.5 percent of children in the control group (n=42), but did not differ by psoriasis severity. Waist circumference above the 90th percentile occurred in 9.3 percent of children in the control group (n=19), 14 percent in the mild psoriasis group (n=27) and 21.2 percent in the severe psoriasis group (n=43), internationally.

Additionally, waist to height ratio was significantly higher in children with psoriasis (0.48) vs. those in the control group (0.46) but was unaffected by psoriasis severity. Children with severe psoriasis at its worst, but mild psoriasis at enrollment, showed no significant difference in excess or central adiposity than children whose psoriasis remained severe.

"In conclusion, children with psoriasis internationally, regardless of severity, are more likely to be overweight or obese and thus are at increased risk for complications related to excess adiposity," the authors write. "Should further studies show excess adiposity to be a precursor for psoriasis, attempts at early weight loss and lifestyle modification will be important, not only to decrease the risk of metabolic disease but also to modulate the course of pediatric psoriasis."

(Arch Dermatol. Published online November 19, 2012. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.1078.)

Editor's Note: This study was supported by a grant from the International Psoriasis Council, which participated in study design and served as the repository of de-identified information. The International Psoriasis Council had no role in the analysis and interpretation of the data or in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript. Several authors also submitted conflict of interest disclosures, which are listed in the article. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
To contact Amy S. Paller, M.D., call Marla Paul at 312-503-8928 or email

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to